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Cheshire Cat

My boyfriend had recently moved out on his own, I could tell he was lonely. We decided that he needed to adopt a cat to keep him company. We looked online and chose to visit a local shelter with one particular kitten in mind. When looking in the cage, the kitten we wanted hissed at us and the attendant said "He doesn't do well with others, he needs a little more work". We were still contemplating, when a little white paw stuck out from the cage above as if to say "Look up here! I'm sitting right here!" The cage was so dark we hadn't even seen the tiny kitten inside. We took him out of his cage and he immediately curled up in my boyfriend's arms. We immediately knew the little black and white kitten was for us.

Four years later Cheshire (from Alice in Wonderland) has become our very best friend. He brings so much joy and entertainment to our little family. He plays fetch, chases his tail, and shows our two dogs who is boss. He spends his free time running laps around the apartment. I cannot imagine life without our little fur ball. He's been with us through so many life changing events (including a marriage). Cheshire always seems to know when you need a cuddle or a good laugh.

Though he contracted a chronic respiratory infection from his time in the shelter, he doesn't let that slow him down. He is the most energetic and loving cat that I have ever met. We are forever grateful that he stuck his little paw out and claimed us as his family.

Roanoke, VA

A miracle under the car

I first met Mimi under a car when I was in vacation with my grandparents.The kitten was scared and very dirty. She was so skinny I could see her rib cages clearly. I was reluctant to touch the dirty cat, but I was touched by the beautiful green eyes of hers. I knew that this kitten would go to Animal Shelter sooner or later, or even die of starvation because it couldn't survive on itself. So I picked it up and carried it to my grandparents' door. My grandma was a cat lover, but my grandpa...not so much. He hated all kinds of animals, and after we took Mimi in, my grandfather was going to throw it out so many times, but luckily my grandma protected the innocent soul. When I heard that I would be going back to Beijing, my home, soon, I was scared that my parents wouldn't accept a new family member into our home. But, as I was calling my mother and as I told her about the kitten, my mom immediately agreed, because she owned many cats when she was little and my mom was also a cat lover. After a few days, my mom came to pick me, and our new friend, Mimi, up and back to Beijing. Pets weren't allowed to go on trains, so we asked my uncle to secretly pass us the cat in a box after we go through station where they check your luggage and clothes. The trip was overnight, so we had beds to sleep on. I hid the kitten behind the backpack, and our roommates helped keep the secret from the train attendants. When we reached Beijing, this cat became the best cat I had ever known. She is now 7 years old and lives with my aunt, because my family had to stay at Kazakhstan for 3 years. We stayed at my aunt's house every summer and winter break. This is now the third year in Kazakhstan, and I can't wait until we move back to China so I can live with my cat again!

Mariana Cui
Beijing, China

My Beloved Schnuki

When my mother passed away, I was faced with the dilemma of what to do with her cat, Schnuki. Schnuki had never liked me, I had never found her particulrly magical or even that cute, but I felt the right thing to do would be to keep her. My mother never would have refused my cats if the roles were reversed, so there it was : I was adding a fourth cat to my household.

Although she had behavioral urinary issues I tried to control with Prozac, which later turned into bladder stones, I somehow learned to put up with it. I did always feel she was separate from the rest of my group until I had a pet psychic do a reading on my group, and she said that Schnuki felt the same.That pretty much broke my heart. From that point on, I made a point to stop referring to her as "my mom's cat" and started calling her mine.

Schnuki's illness came swiftly. She got an infection which caused her to lose 6 pounds far too quickly, which effected her liver. That, along with hyperthyroidism was a mix that caused her to to be found by me practically rigid, barely breathing, and clearly dying.

I was lucky enough to have five years of her magical love; I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to realize how much she loved me. Now I know she's frolicking on Rainbow Bridge with my mother and sweet prince Carlo, my ginger boy, who died of kidney failure two months ago. It's so hard to love and then lose these beautiful creatures, but I consider myself lucky to have had them in my life at all.

Los Angeles, CA

Pretty as a Daisy

Daisy was given to us by a local rescue group to foster since they were full up. I took her home and acclimated her with our other wonderful babies. She loved cats, but didn't like people. I don't know how they ever caught her, because she's so fearful of people. I had no paperwork on her background, but could tell immediately by her fear and by the scars on her that she was abused. She has spots around her neck that have no fur at all. We had her awhile and no one came forward to adopt her. Because she was so scared, we felt it was best she stayed with us and adopted her. Although she still shows fear at times, she now loves her playmates and will come to us to be petted. One of our male cats took her under his wing and so she favors him - so much that at times he gets frustrated with her constant rubbing on him for attention! We are happy to have this pretty little Daisy (the name she came with). I hope someone who has ever hurt an animal, look at that face and see what a sweet one it is and learn to never hurt an animal again. They love us unconditionally. People are supposed to be the smart species - if this is true then no harm should ever come to an animal like this. Open your heart and let an animal in, you'll never regret it.

Lyndonville, NY

Ares My Special Angel

In June of 1998 while deciding what to do for the day, I “heard” a voice in my mind say: “Go to Animal Control.” I heard it as plain as if someone was standing next to me.

At the shelter I fell in love with a two month old white lab/pit mix puppy. There were six names on his potential adopters list – each one crossed out. I took him home then and there. Ares - who was always more of a love bug than a god of war - was full of fleas and had a bad case of worms, both of which were taken care of that first week.

Ares was a little ball of energy and wonderful playmate for my other dog Nikita. He was a constant companion to me. I had a bond with him like no other. I literally trusted him with my life. He always looked out for me.

Ares crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on 23 August 2010. He had had a very sudden onset of canine vestibular syndrome which degenerated to the point where he could not walk at all. It was one of the saddest moments of my life, but I knew I had to let him go – for his sake. I was with him through to the end, lying on the floor next to him in my Vet’s office, as he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.

You try not to have favorites. Especially among your furry children, as they sense your feelings and thoughts. But even after all this time, I still miss and mourn my wonderful Ares. He was one of a kind. Extremely unique. To this day, I believe with my whole heart that if I were ever in extreme danger, I could call his name, and he would come to my rescue.

Linda Coffelt
Virginia Beach, VA

Savannah's Story

One day around 7 years ago I decided to look online for a pet. I had recently moved to a new place and me and my cat had an empty home. My cat had always been around dogs, loved them and I knew he needed a friend. While I wasn't ready to adopt yet, I was looking around. One day this beautiful little girl showed up on my screen and they gave her 24 hours to live. She was only 8 months old and had the prettiest blue eyes I had ever seen. I called and they said they would try to notify the people in time to save her. I was later called back only to be told it was too late. I went through the entire weekend thinking I was not quick enough and a poor baby had died. I was quickly called Monday morning and told they were wrong, she was safe and they would help get her to me. They met me half way and transported her 2 hours, waived all fees and said please take her. She has been a mommas girl ever since! She is one of the most patient, loving and giving dogs I've ever encountered. She tries so hard to be good, loves to snuggle, go to the dog park, travel and just be by your side. While I've had some special dogs in my life, Savannah is a true gem. My heart grows bigger each day knowing that she is here to love and love in return.

Denver, CO


We found Honey the evening of this last 4th of July. Her eyes were completely sealed closed and she was running around blind afraid of the fireworks.

We called the SPCA for her, they came and immediately told us she would be put to sleep because she was too small. Of course we brought her right home and made a room for her. The doctors a few days later told us she was 0.5 pounds, would lose both of her eyes due to infection and possibly wouldn't pull through at all.

Here we are a few months later and not only did little Honey pull through but somehow through hard work she kept both of her eyes and can see just fine! We had planned on rehoming her when she got big enough but now we realize we can't! She's part of the family.

Fresno, CA

Dumpster Dog

He was found tied to a Dumpster outside a convenience store in Florida. He was rescued and put in a shelter and adopted out a few times and brought back. He was not given a chance because he had "issues". He was supposed to be euthanized because of his "issues" but instead was rescued and found a home in a no kill shelter because they believed that he could be rehabilitated. I adopted Brody fully aware of his "issues". It took some time for him to trust me and know that I was not going to hurt him in any way. It's been over 4 years now and those "issues" are a thing of the past. I too had "issues" and because of him, those are a thing of my past. I not only saved him, but he also saved me.

Sarasota, FL

Sox and Patches

On May 25th, 2014, I took one of my brothers up to my mom's house with me, and we took my other brother to the river. To do that we had to go over a levee and through a lot of homeless camps. These guys are cool, though, and my gosh are some of the cats there gorgeous. On our way back my older younger brother spotted this pretty little smokey grey cat and jokingly asked some of the Campers: "Is that your guard cat?"

One thing led to another and the next thing I knew they were handing us two tiny 4 week old kittens, a little male and a little female. They both had eye infections and feline herpes (upper respiratory infection), and the little girl's case was so awful we were at first afraid she didn't have a left eye. But my mom cleaned her up and we found it, and after me and my youngest brother begged and begged, and the Campers were hiding so they wouldn't have to take them back, we finally got to keep them.

The following Tuesday I spent three hours in the vet's office with them and spent $70 I didn't have to learn what was wrong and how to treat it. I fell deeply in love with the little boy, whom I'd named Sox (Soxy Boy, Sockpuppet), who actually helped me through bouts of depression for the next two weeks. Then I took two healthy six week old kittens back up to my Mom, and she immediately fell in love with the little female, whom she successfully renamed Patches. Someone tried to take off with my Soxy Boy not too long ago but he found his way home after three hours. My Mom had been desperate to try and find him since she saw how much we loved each other, but it was within minutes of my arrival we suddenly heard frantic meowing outside, and opened up the door, and my handsome little boy leapt into my arms because he knew his mommy needed him. Cats really are amazing creatures.

Sierra Ahrens
Citrus Heights, CA

The Little Black Dog in the Corner

I still remember when I first saw her, she was curled up in the back of the kennel scared for her life.

Back track to a week before: my families beloved Golden Retriever was dying, he was probably the best dog I've ever known, Bailey was my dream dog. This dog was no Bailey, she was small, timid and unnerved, I could tell she hadn't come from a good place. I came to the shelter two days before Bailey passed away, hoping to find a dog I could foster and give a little love. I didn't expect to be taking any dogs home to keep, I already owned another dog, Lola, the "gentile giant" as I liked to call her, 60 pounds of Australian Shepherd mix who loves to run and play fetch. However, my boyfriend convinced me into thinking about fostering since I was feeling so down about Bailey, he thought it would be a chance to help another needy animal.

I agreed to go "take a look." I walked into the shelter, a dark and dingy place that wreaked of animal urine. I searched the kennels looking for something to pop out at me and that's when I saw her. She was nervous and skittish but despite that we asked the kennel assistant if we could take her out to the play pen. Her exact words were, "you don't want this one, she bites," I looked anxiously at my boyfriend but proceeded to take her outside anyway. The lady gave us a tennis ball to throw and although she seemed apprehensive to get it, she obliged. I knew right then that this scared & battered dog would need to come home. I told my boyfriend I would take her and two days later I had a new dog. She was so happy to be out of that kennel, she was full of life. Today Reecie is almost a year old, she has come from a background on the streets starving for food and likely beaten but now she has a happy and fulfilled life with Lola and me.

Orlando, FL
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